A FLOOR layer turned to growing cannabis and selling it during lockdown because of financial problems.
Joseph Patterson’s lawyer told a court on Wednesday, May 11 that he took the “regrettable” decision to grow and sell it, partly because of his drug debt and in fear of loss of income during the pandemic.
The 24-year-old was caught out when police saw him taking something from the boot of his BMW parked in Strand Road, Bootle on June 14 last year.
After a dispute with a parking warden he left and drove to nearby Cedar Street where he parked and after again retrieving something from his boot was involved in a drugs transaction with the driver of a VW Passatt, said Derek Jones, prosecuting.
Police stopped the Passatt and the driver was subsequently fined £50 for cannabis prosecution and meanwhile other officers spoke to Patterson.
They noted he smelt of cannabis and when searched he had £400 cash and inside his car they found six bags of cannabis and he had two mobile phones. In an Armani man bag in the boot they found 25 more bags of cannabis.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the drugs had a potential street value of £1,714.
“As he was being detained by police he seem to shout a coded warning to someone else in the road and because of that officers went straight to his home address in Smollet Street, Bootle,” said Mr Jones.
They found a relatively sophisticated cannabis growing enterprise and although there were only seven plants they had the potential to produce drugs with a street value of up to £8,000.
There were 70 cuttings and the court was told that some of them could eventually have been used to add to the mature plants or sold as they were for £10 each.
Patterson pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply and producing the drug. He has previous convictions including possessing cannabis and drug driving.
The judge, Recorder Kendrick Horne told the young dad that his convictions demonstrated that he knew the harm done by drugs.
He sentenced him to 16 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and ordered him to carry out 15 days rehabilitation activities and 100 hours unpaid work.
Anthony O’Donohoe, defending, said Patterson suffers from anxiety and depression and was described as “courteous and polite.”
He comes from a loving and caring family and has a baby son. He is a self-employed floor layer and also works in a Formby restaurant.